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Call It Puppy Love

Call It Puppy LoveMost dog owners have a special connection with their four-legged friend. Dogs offer fun and affection in exchange for some ear scratching and a romp in the park. The health benefits they bring are just an added bonus.

  • More exercise. Dogs love to walk, hike and run. One study found that people with dogs are 54% more likely to meet the recommended amount of daily exercise than non-dog owners. Dogs are always up for new adventures, so taking a walk is a great excuse to go exploring.
  • Healthier heart. Speaking of walking, it’s good for your heart. Walking can help you maintain a proper weight and keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, all of which can ward off heart disease.
  • Stress relief. Speaking of low blood pressure, relaxation lowers your blood pressure. Hanging out with a dog is a great way to relax and reduce your stress level.
  • Bigger social network. Social relationships are important to your overall health and happiness. Life can get lonely when you move to a new city or become an empty nester. Not only does having a dog give you an instant companion, it also increases your opportunities to meet new people because you’re out and about more often (exercising with your dog, of course). Plus, dogs are natural people magnets.
  • Mood boost. Dogs can bring people a sense of comfort. Many hospitals, including North Kansas City Hospital, have a pet therapy program for that very reason. You get the same effect with a dog at home. Some studies even say people who own a dog laugh more and worry less. For older people, caring for a dog can bring a renewed sense of purpose.

Proceed With Caution

Owning a dog, or a pet of any kind, is a big responsibility. Make sure you have the time and money to care for a dog. If you’re looking for that forever furry friend, stop by the Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter.

P.S. If you fancy cats over dogs, the health benefits are pretty much the same. As for lizards, probably not so much.